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Tour de Bunting

I went to Harrogate on Wednesday. Yorkshire is gearing up for the Tour de France coming through from 5th July, and Harrogate is no exception. There was knitted cycling jersey bunting everywhere, along with yellow, green and spotty bikes and other types of bunting. It all looked fabulous and it wasn’t just the town centre. The suburbs and villages along the route were all decorated too. I do like it when a community gets into the spirit of an event.

 

This is the roundabout at the bottom of Montpellier Parade.

Below is a close up.

Sadly most of the decorations were by the sides of busy roads so I couldn’t stop and take random photographs. In the Montpellier Quarter they had used a dead tree and carved bas reliefs into the trunk. So much better than simply chopping it down.

 

 

If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?  Today’s twist: organize your post around the description of a setting.

Imagine yourself standing at the edge of a forest. Not a cold, dark pine forest but a forest of well spaced trees with bright green leaves and ladders of sunshine striking through the trees to hit the forest floor. The sunshine is warm and you can barely feel the weight of the bag on your back. A light breeze ruffles the leaves just above your head and you can hear birds singing and sheep bleating in the distance. In front of you stretches a path. Not a straight path. It winds around the trees, following a trail begun by animals and later widened by human feet.

 

You take a step forward. Then another. The birdsong becomes clearer, the sheep noises die away into nothing. Breathing deeply you catch a brief scent of flowers but you can’t see any when you look for them. The rustling of small animals in the undergrowth echo the sound made by your feet as you follow the path, littered with dead leaves, beech mast and acorns, and giving off a smell of warm earth and living things.

Suddenly the path begins to slope upwards and you find yourself becoming slightly breathless as you try to keep your balance on the uneven surface. As you reach the crest of the hill you are aware of a sense of open space ahead of you, of the sun growing brighter and warmer. Stopping, you look down onto a lake in the middle of the forest. It has the bluest waters that you have ever seen; shading to turquoise and then green on the farther banks. Slipping and sliding a little you make your way to the edge of the lake. It’s waters are as still as glass and the colour changes as the sun bobs behind clouds and out again. Sitting on an old log, fallen as conveniently as if it had been placed there, you watch the dragonflies as they dart over the water, their wings catching the light and shining like drops of water themselves.

 

Shifting yourself so that you are comfortable, listening to the log creak as it settles around you, you close your eyes. The warmth of the sun bathes your face as you are alone with your thoughts.

For my first post in the Writing 101 series we were invited to write for 20 minutes on any subject. That was it; just write. So here you get my mind vomit……apologies if it is unfinished, I am just following instructions for once in my life! Thinking about why I write blogs, what I look for in blogs that I enjoy reading, do I ever do anything with ideas and opinions which I see in blogs.

Reading blogs/enjoying a blog

The first blogs I ever read were those written by friends. Many of my friends live a fair distance from where I do, so the internet was a blessing in the sense that it helped us to keep in touch much more easily, and blogs were a further way of exchanging news of our day to day doings, traumas and high points. I collect old children’s books and also craft a lot, so the next logical step was to search out blogs repeated to such topics.

I have followed and unfollowed many blogs over the years, branching out into my other interests. So what has been in a blog that has helped to keep my interest? I am intensely interested in people, what makes people tick, what is it about our varied world that gets others excited and how they spend their time. Basically I am a very nosy person!

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I like to see what is going on in others’ lives, so whether a blog is based around sewing,  history, children’s books or making hats out of matchsticks I will be more likely to follow a blog that mentions other aspects of a blogger’s life; going to a sewing exhibition, taking their children to the beach, entering a matchstick hat competition…..you get the idea?

Why I blog

Sometimes I wonder why I keep a blog as my life never seems as interesting as those lives I read about. But the things that I blog about are similar to those things that I like to read about so I think I need to write more, I do think that I manage to pack as lot into my days – I must as I never seem to have time to

Edited to add: another thing, I hate to leave things unfinished so this is going to hurt my ocd!! But I shall leave it as is, to honour the spirit of the challenge

A Grand Day Out

The plan for today was to go to Saltburn to see the yarnbombing, watch the Christmas Truce reenactment, have fish and chips and look at all the other things that were going on. Due to absolute lack of parking anywhere in the town and our lack of forethought to use the train we had to resort to Plan B. It still involved fish and chips, at the fish and chip cafe in Sleights but instead of the seaside we went up onto the moors. A visit to Grosmont so that Mum could see if there were any steam trains in (there were). There is some lovely landscaping around the station at Grosmont.

 

There is also a lovely memorial garden to somebody who, I assume is either a founder member of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway or somebody who devoted a lot of their life to it. Whoever he was it is a beautiful way to be remembered.

 

Notice all the lupins in the background? I haven’t seen lupins, or similar old fashioned flowers in gardens for many years. I would love to have a garden where I could grow old fashioned flowers and herbs successfully. Our soil is very heavy clay; excellent for tiles, not so good for plants.

I found a facsimile book of the Spitfire manual 1940, which I bought for my Granddad. He was Ground Crew, not a pilot, but he will still be interested. There was also a facsimile of the Land Girls handbook which looked interesting.

When we had finished looking at trains (Mum) and books (me) we drove on to our favourite ice cream van, just off the main road between Beck Hole and the Hole of Horcum. I love the view from the little pull off. Sadly I was buying ice cream when a train chuff-chuffed along the railway line in the bottom of the valley but even minus train steam it is beautiful.

 

We then drove home via Pickering and Bilsdale. Even though it wasn’t the day we had planned it was a lovely day out and a nice way to end the half term holiday. Back to work tomorrow, which I know won’t be as bad as it feels right now.

Had tickets gone on sale earlier in the month than they did I could have been at a New Kids on the Block concert dancing away and generally shrieking like a teenager.

But no. Instead of spending my evening with these lovelies (and my like minded friends)

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I am at home literally cleaning shit from this damned creature, who is too darned lazy to go outside and poop in the rain.

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And no, he is NOT cute today AT ALL!!!!!

Sometimes life seems so unfair.

Expect more…..

I have joined WordPress’ Writing 101 challenge, so expect more posts on random subjects. It’s intent is to improve one’s blogging skills, give ideas and challenges on posting regularly and provide a springboard for thoughts. Thank you Claire for telling me about it.

I have also found a notebook app for my phone; one that allows you to create real electronic notebooks, not just lists (although I do have a list app as well because I am the List Queen!) I have transferred some of my current writing into it and set up books for other writing, including blog notes.

Small things make me happy……

The weather this weekend has been appalling, apart from today. I keep thinking it is Sunday because it usually rains on a bank holiday Monday! Yesterday I met E for a drink, we have been close friends since we were five years old but she lives in London so we don’t see one another as often as we would like. For some reason my anxiety was playing up so I had to force myself to change and go out. E had her new man with her (I was glad I hadn’t known beforehand or I might not have gone!) He seems very nice and they seem to make one another happy, so that is all to the good. E and I exchanged our much belated Christmas presents: She bought me the most gorgeous evening bag, it is a much deeper purple than the photo shows

 

She also bought me a jotter block, which she claims that she saw and thought of me!……..I can’t imagine why!!!

 

and inside…

 

I am glad that I went as I really enjoyed my evening but I was very cross with myself. Anxiety sucks.

Today I went to the Bowes Museum, near Barnard Castle.

 

There was an exhibition of miner’s artwork, which I wanted to see. There were some very thought provoking and beautiful works on display. Sadly the information boards were faded white writing on dark blue boards, which were very difficult to read in the low light levels. I had a look in some of the other galleries while I was there – somehow they never get tired. Home was via an ice cream parlour – sunny days are made for ice cream!

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